Speech about the Munich Agreement

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Speech about the Munich Agreement  (1939) 
by Joseph Stalin
Excerpt of speech to the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on 10 March 1939, regarding the Munich Agreement.

"How to explain such one-sided and strange nature of new imperialistic war? How could it happen, that the non-aggressive countries that have such enormous possibilities, have found it so easy to leave without any repulse all their positions and obligations in order to please the aggressors? Doesn’t it speak of the weakness of the non-aggressive states? Certainly not! Non-aggressive, democratic states, if taken together, are undoubtedly stronger than the fascist states both in economic and military respect. Than to explain in this case these systematic concessions made by these states to the aggressors? It would be possible to explain it, for example, by the feeling of fear before the revolution which could rise if the non-aggressive states would enter war and the war would lead to a war of a world scale. Bourgeois politicians, of course, know that the first world imperialistic war has given a revolution victory for one of the greatest countries. They are afraid that the second world imperialistic war can also lead to a revolution victory in one or several countries. But even this is not the main reason now. The main reason lies within the fact that the majority of non-aggressive countries, and first of all England and France, has abandoned the policy of collective security, has abandoned the policy of collective repulse to the aggressors, shifting to the position of non-interference, to the position of “neutrality”. Formally, the policy of non-interference could be characterized thus: «let each country defend itself from the aggressors, as it wants and as it can, it doesn't concern us, we will trade both with aggressors and with their victims». In practice, however, the policy of non-interference means policy of appeasement to the aggression, unleashing the war, hence, its transformation into world war. Or, for example, take the example of Germany. They have Austria conceded to it, despite of the obligation to protect its independence, they have conceded Sudetsky area, have left Czechoslovakia to the mercy of fate, having infringed upon all and any obligations, and then began to lie loudly in the press about «the weakness of Russian army», about «decomposition of Russian aircraft industry», about "disorders" in the Soviet Union, pushing Germans further towards the East, promising them an easy loot and saying: you should only begin the war with Bolsheviks, and further all will go just well. It is necessary to recognize that it too is very similar to pushing, encouraging the aggressor. [...] What is even more characteristic, is that some politicians and figures of the press in Europe and in the USA, having lost patience pending «a campaign to the Soviet Ukraine», start to expose themselves the actual underlying reason of the non-interference policy. They directly speak and write in black and white that Germans severely "have disappointed" them, as instead of moving further on the East, against the Soviet Union, they, have you seen, turned on the West and require the colonies to itself. It is possible to think that to Germans were given the areas of Czechoslovakia as the price for the obligation to begin war with the Soviet Union, and Germans refuse to settle the bill now, sending them somewhere far away."

This work is in the public domain in Russia. It was either published before January 1, 1943 (Article 1281 of the Russian Civil Code, Part 4), or the creator (if known) died before June 22, 1941 (Article 6 of Federal Law 231-FZ from December 18, 2006).

In addition, a Russian or Soviet work that is in the public domain in Russia according is in the public domain in the U.S. only if it was in the public domain in Russia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Russia's joining the Berne Convention in 1995, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)